Kerala HC Orders Private Hospitals to Follow Price Quoted by the Government for COVID-19 Treatment

Story Highlights
  • Private hospitals directed to follow government framed COVID charges
  • A Bench of Justices Devan Ramachandran and Kauser Edappagth issued the notice
  • Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan also issued similar orders

INDIA: The Kerala High Court on Monday heard a plea moved against the inflated charges being charged by the private hospitals for the COVID-19 treatment in the state and ordered them to follow the basic price issued by the Kerala government for the treatment of COVID.

 A Bench of Justices Devan Ramachandran and Kauser Edappagth noted that PPE kits are priced and Kanji are being priced are adulterated. “We found unconscionable billings, Rs 22,000 for PPE kits. Look at the bills. We saw our humble Kanji is charged at Rs. 1300. Dolo is charged at Rs. 30-40,” the bench said. 

It further said,” Imagine the plight of a citizen who earns Rs 1000 and sees a bill of 2-3 lakhs. We are seeing infections rising rapidly. This is not an isolated case. Anyone can catch the infection now. You are looting people. Think about it, we have to intervene now.”

This order came after the private hospitals opposed a government decision to cap the price for treatment of COVID-19 at private hospitals. 

 During the hearing, the State counsel said,” As per the government’s order, the price for general ward would be Rs 2,645, including registration, bed, nursing and boarding, blood transfusion, oxygen, X-ray, consultation and diagnosis.” “Expenses for costly medicines like Remdesivir will be separate while the rate for RT-PCR test would remain at Rs 500 as fixed by the state government earlier. A penalty of ten times the rate will be imposed in case of overcharging,” the counsel further stated.

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